Great Ormond Street Hospital: Couple arrested over attempted abduction of premature baby

31-year-old man and 26-year-old woman arrested on conspiracy to commit child abduction

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The Independent Online

A couple have been arrested after allegedly trying to abduct a premature baby from Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Police were called to the Camden hospital earlier this week to a report of someone trying to take a child, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said.

The 31-year-old man and 26-year-old woman were arrested on conspiracy to commit child abduction.

The couple are understood to have claimed their child had been born at the nearby Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, before being transferred.

They reportedly showed staff a photo of "their baby" in an incubator, thought to be a printout from the internet, and said they had come to collect the child.

Staff then checked with the Royal London Hospital but found no records matching the couple's description and called the police.

"Enquiries continue," the Met Police spokeswoman added.

Inspector Paul Clarke, of the Met Police, said: "The actions of the staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital in making all of the necessary checks and the quick response of police in arresting a couple prevented what could have been a very frightening and harrowing incident."

A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street Hospital said: “Thankfully, this type of incident is exceptionally rare.

"We are pleased that staff at the hospital acted so swiftly and calmly to ensure the safety of all our patients.”

The couple have been bailed until mid-April.